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Does Game Theory Work? The Bargaining Challenge

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  • Ken Binmore

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    (University College London)

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    Abstract

    This volume brings together all of Ken Binmore's influential experimental papers on bargaining along with newly written commentary in which Binmore discusses the underlying game theory and addresses the criticism leveled at it by behavioral economists. When Binmore began his experimental work in the 1980s, conventional wisdom held that game theory would not work in the laboratory, but Binmore and other pioneers established that game theory can often predict the behavior of experienced players very well in favorable laboratory settings. The case of human bargaining behavior is particularly challenging for game theory. Everyone agrees that human behavior in real-life bargaining situations is governed at least partly by considerations of fairness, but what happens in a laboratory when such fairness considerations supposedly conflict with game-theoretic predictions? Behavioral economists, who emphasize the importance of other-regarding or social preferences, sometimes argue that their findings threaten traditional game theory. Binmore disputes both their interpretations of their findings and their claims about what game theorists think it reasonable to predict. Binmore's findings from two decades of game theory experiments have made a lasting contribution to economics. These papers--some coauthored with other leading economists, including Larry Samuelson, Avner Shaked, and John Sutton--show that game theory does indeed work in favorable laboratory environments, even in the challenging case of bargaining.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262026074 and published in 2007.

    Volume: 1
    Edition: 1
    ISBN: 0-262-02607-4
    Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262026074

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

    Related research

    Keywords: game theory; bargaining; laboratory experimentation;

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    Cited by:
    1. Tamar Kugler & Edgar E. Kausel & Martin G. Kocher, 2012. "Are Groups more Rational than Individuals? A Review of Interactive Decision Making in Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 3701, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Binmore, Ken & Shaked, Avner, 2010. "Experimental economics: Where next?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 87-100, January.
    3. D. Darcet & D. Sornette, 2008. "Quantitative determination of the level of cooperation in the presence of punishment in three public good experiments," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 137-163, December.
    4. Geller, Chris R. & Mustard, Jamie & Shahwan, Ranya, 2013. "Focused power: Experiments, the Shapley-Shubik power index, and focal points," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-42, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    5. Pablo Branas-Garza & Debrah Meloso & Luis Miller, 2012. "Interactive and Moral Reasoning: A Comparative Study of Response Times," Working Papers 440, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Vjollca Sadiraj & Juan Sun, 2012. "Efficiency in Bargaining Games with Alternating Offers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2366-2374.
    7. Andreozzi, Luciano, 2013. "Learning to be fair," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 181-195.
    8. Ken Binmore, 2010. "Social norms or social preferences?," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 9(2), pages 139-157, December.

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